Large numbers of Sudanese women are being raped by, or have lost their husbands to, the mostly-Arab militia called the Janjaweed. While refugee camps should offer women safety from more violence, the Globe and Mail reports that more and more women are being raped outside of their refugee camps when they go to gather wood or charcoal to sell or to use to cook food. A sergeant guarding one of the camps asserts “if you go even one kilometer from the camp, you will find problems.” According to the Globe and Mail, the sergeant went on to say that even though his soldiers know about the rapes, they cannot leave their post to patrol or intervene.
As the humanitarian crisis in the country deepens, reports of lost breast milk as a result of trauma and malnourishment in women from the Darfur region of the Sudan have become increasingly common over the last few months. According to the Washington Post, a public health professor who toured the refugee camps in Chad asserted “This is a situation where anxiety and stress is far greater for women, and it adds a particular layer of stress to an already stressed population.” A recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey states that the mortality rate for children is above the emergency threshold, reports the Washington Post.
Reuters reports that the humanitarian crisis in Darfur is worsening and has cost up to 50,000 lives.